The Sand Dollars have been a live favourite around Melbourne for a few years now. Their frenetic shows got people up and moving even from their very early days. Undeniably hooky songs kept them coming for more. After a slew of singles over the last 2 years they’ve finally given us something a bit more substantial with their new EP I Like The Look Of Your Sweater, Can I Have Your Number. And like any band worth their salt they didn’t just bash out their tunes in front of a mic and burn them on a CD, they spent some time creating an eclectic selection of tunes which showcase their inspirations as well as creatively pushing the boundaries and limitations of their live show.
We caught up with Michael Baini from the band to chat about how the band went from guitar jangle band to RnB producers.
What’s the story behind the title of the EP?
We wanted to paint a picture to people what the themes and stories of the EP are before they even hear it. We thought our title “I Like The Look Of You Sweater, Can I have Your Number?” had a particular charm to it while also indicating the sort of personified character this EP has. It’s an EP that lives by a positive message and has a certain element of effort, like there’s nothing to lose, because for us and our first EP there is nothing to lose.
The EP covers a lot of ground musically. From garage, pop, RnB and soul. Is this is an accurate representation of the band playing live or do some of these songs only exist in recorded form?
It’s a stretch to say that we can pull all of these off in a live context. We have tried, and probably failed. But we try to play to our strengths, and that is our live rock and roll energy and our ability to make people feel like jumping and screaming and shaking. So if a song restricts us from doing that, we’re going to either try to play it differently, or cut it from our set. I will say though that we enjoy listening to each of those listen genres and had fun recording this entire EP. So we believe that these songs do work well together on the same EP.
What made you want to get a hip hop artist involved in the song Love Dust?
It was more of an accident than a planned situation. So we started by just taking some samples and moving them around until we composed a song. That song ended up being Love Dust. As the idea developed, we realised that this was a hip hop track rather than our usual rock palette, so we had some connections to a rapper in Melbourne who we had grown up loving from his work in True Live and Raah Project, and so we asked Ryan to collaborate on it with us. We believe Ryan adds the real soul of the song and without his input it would have been a much lesser track for us.
Is the new single Love Dust a sign of musical things to come? Or do you think it was a one off?
We wouldn’t rule anything out. It’s just as likely that we chose the third option and create something totally different from anything we’ve done before. Punk it up maybe. We just want to make sure that whatever we do is something that we would listen to ourselves. Pushing the boundaries of our own abilities is an essential part of our creative process.
You have a lot of guests on your EP. Do you invite all these people on stage now as well? How has the live band changed since the early Sand Dollars days?
Yes everything has changed drastically since those early days. We are still to the core just the four of us, but we have added backing singers, a rapper and occasionally a saxophone on stage with us. We still get the crowd dancing though. That will never change.
Give us a few tips for gigs this month that we should go check out.
Jerry Seinfeld is touring Australia this month. Not sure if he’s bringing his band with him this time.